- Audio CD (15 April 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Megaforce
- ASIN: B00BDSRH72
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,686 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The Rat Farm album features the indelible Kirkwood brothers, Cris and Curt. SPIN summed up the hypnotic power by saying, "the interplay of Curt's drowsy vocals and freaky guitar can still induce vertiginous spells." The band also continues with drummer Shandon Sahm, son of the legendary Doug Sahm. The highly influential Meat Puppets started as a punk rock band, but established their own unique style, blending punk with country and psychedelic rock. The Meat Puppets later gained significant exposure when the Kirkwood brothers served as guest musicians on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance in 1993. The band's subsequent album Too High to Die went gold, selling over 500,000 albums, and became their most successful release. The band reunited in 2006. Everyone from Nirvana to Pavement to Stone Temple Pilots cite The Meat Puppets as one of the most significant American bands.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It harkens me back to the days when an album meant something (to me, the mid 1970s) - put the headphones on, open that gatefold up to read the lyrics (which, I am pleased to say are included in this release!) and let every song take you to another place.
Curt's songwriting and guitar playing have only gotten better over the years - a trend that, to me solidified starting with 2009's Sewn Together, then with 2011's superb Lollipop, and is now wholly confirmed with Rat Farm.
Not unlike J. Mascis and Dinosaur Jr. - just when you think it not possible for a band to come up with another set of supremely catchy, rocking tunes, Curt provided. This proves that his artistry is pure - not only on the artwork that adorns this (and past) Puppets releases, but in his core - in the music that he produces.
The first four tracks of this release will immediately hook you. "Rat Farm", with it's slight reggae style verses, building up to one of Curt's finest Alterna-rock choruses. Track 2, "One More Drop", is by far the poppiest song on the album - any my favorite thus far - but think "poppy" as in the eerie similarity to Spectres/Mirrors/Cultosaurus ere Buck Dharma (BOC) in regards to both vocals and blistering guitar solos. Listen again, and see if I am wrong ;) Down, the first "single" is another pop-rocker with that sing along chorus that we Meat Puppet fans love., which brings me to track 4: "Leave Your Head Alone." What starts as a beautifully slower psychedelic ballad (SPOILER ALERT), abruptly changes pace, and tears into an uplifting chorus that wouldn't have been out of place in a Lennonesque Beatles trip in 1967.
THAT is what makes this album so special, even this early in for me - it is a cohesive, genius work that hearkens back to a time when music was music. Want to be taken to that magical place? With that grin on your face? Buy Rat Farm TODAY!!
I've been enjoying Rat Farm for the past day, so I haven't had a lot of time to get into subtle nuances. But, I'm loving it.
It's a consistently enjoyable Puppets' record. Now, this is coming from someone who owns all of the Meat Puppets' albums and a number of other artifacts, and loves most of them. It took me a while to get into the 2011 record Lollipop at all and that one never became a regular listen for me, whereas I really enjoyed Sewn Together.
This album has a variety of guitar sounds, vocal harmonies and lyrical quirks that will feel familiar to anyone who has followed the Pups. It sounds completely fresh, though, too which is the great thing. Since it's Curt Kirkwood, you know he is never one to be much concerned with repeating past glories or concerning himself with what others are expecting... and that's proved very fruitful.
I guess I can say I'm reminded of aspects of Too High to Die here, Curt Kirkwood's Snow album, and maybe just a little Huevos in corners.
I think that people who like country-ish jam band stuff should find this album right up their alley, too.
In short, I've been buying Meat Puppets albums for 20 years since THTD came out, and I'm loving this one already and feel like it's one that will be getting a lot of play this summer.
Recommended, of course.
Happily, Rat Farm is full of those desert moments, with lots of harmonies, plenty of psychedelic playing from Curt Kirkwood, and an overarching sense of joy that has been in abundance since Cris Kirkwood rejoined the fold. There's a little (tasteful) reggae on the title track before rock hammer drops, nicely-done prog-rock elements on Leave Your Head Alone, some country two-step on Sometimes Blue and that lovely Meat Puppets ache on Waiting and The River Rose.
I love the SST records, but Curt is a much better singer now and the octopads are long gone. I really enjoy a lot of the '90's material, but some of the fragility seemed to get lost in the bombast of the alt-rock years. So, Rat Farm is right where I want the Pups to be, sounding just like themselves more than ever.
Rat Farm is the fourth album since Kris Kirkwood reunited with his brother Curt, after an absence of some (seven?) years. In the interim, Curt had a new lineup for one album (Golden Lies), a new band (Volcano), another new band (Eyes Adrift) and a superb solo effort (Snow). Rise To Your Knees, Sewn Together and Lollipop were all solid efforts, but Rat Farm has truly surpassed them, pulling it all together to deliver a hearty meat stew of acoustic country, electric grunge, psychedelic jam, power chords, distorted feedback, whatever you call it, all riding along with the brotherly harmonizing on Curt's beguiling, seductive, absurd lyrics.
As others have pointed out, the production seems improved over the previous three discs (compare with the recording/production quality of their '90's London albums). I also think their new drummer Shandon Sahm is a better fit than the previous drummer, Ted Marcus. My favorite tracks are Down, Leave Your Head Alone, Time And Money, Sweet. That last one is the closing track, an absolute rip-snortin' Meat Puppets classic.